Job is safe but cop’s left ‘broken’

This Is Wiltshire: DSI Steve Fulcher was found guilty of gross misconduct. DSI Steve Fulcher was found guilty of gross misconduct.

KAREN Edwards, mother of murdered Becky Godden-Edwards, has welcomed news the detective who found her daughter has kept his job – but has described him as a ‘broken man’.

Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher was given a final written warning after being found guilty of gross misconduct – allowing him to keep his job.

The independent panel delivered the sanction for the two counts of gross misconduct relating to the investigation into Sian O’Callaghan’s disappearance and murder in March 2011.

Karen, 52, who has campaigned to change police procedural laws, said: “When I found out he is keeping his job I just could not stop crying, I was hysterical. It’s great news for him.”

Meanwhile, his solicitor Imran Khan, of specialist law firm LHS Solicitors, said: “It’s fantastic news for him. I’m pleased for him.

“He is grateful for all the support he has received, grateful to the panel for their thorough consideration of the matter and he accepts the findings of the panel.

“Steve wishes to express his thanks to those who have supported him throughout this very sad case.

“At all times Steve Fulcher has been motivated by a desire to serve the public and do the best that he can for the victims, their families and for Wiltshire Police.

“He is grateful for the support he has received from many people and in particular, humbled by the support he has received from Becky’s mother, Karen Edwards, and Sian’s partner Kevin Reape, when they have suffered such tragic loss.

“Steve Fulcher is a dedicated police officer and is fully committed to Wiltshire Police. He wishes to return to work as soon as possible to continue serving the public and to move forward from this upsetting and stressful episode in his life and that of his family.”

DSI Fulcher was found guilty of gross misconduct in relation to breaches of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act in not cautioning Sian’s killer Chris Halliwell during interviews at Barbury Castle and Uffington, and ignoring force orders not to talk directly to the media during the case.

He was found guilty on Wednesday night, but the sanction was not delivered until yesterday morning and Karen said she could not sleep for worrying.

Karen said: “When they said gross misconduct my heart was pounding in my chest – I felt physically sick, to be honest. It was very emotional.

“I thought ‘oh no they are going to get rid of him’. But then I found out he is keeping his job and I just could not stop crying.

“Yes, Steve breached PACE but he breached it for the right reasons.

“I think the same of him now as I did when he knocked on my door on 4 April 2011 and told me the news. He is a compassionate and honest man.

“It is going to take Steve a long time to get over this – he looked like a broken man in that court room and I felt his pain. He was shattered and I just wanted to give him a huge hug.

“He has put an evil predator behind bars and if he had done what PACE told him to do then Sian may never have been put to rest and I would have never have known Becky was in that field.”

Yesterday, Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Pat Geenty said he accepted the panel’s decision and he had admiration for officers who had to make life and death decisions.

He said: “Serious and major crime investigations are a complex aspect of policing and are often fast paced and highly charged.

“I have great admiration for senior investigating officers across the country who have to make life and death decisions.

“As always, it is vital that investigations are rigorously reviewed in order that good practice, lessons learnt and areas for development are identified.

“Furthermore, in line with the very prominent national concern regarding the integrity and transparency of the police service, I reiterate that I expect the highest level of professional conduct from all of my officers and staff.

“I fully respect the findings of the panel today and the process that has taken place, and I abide by the decision they have made.

“DSI Fulcher will continue to be given the appropriate welfare support within the organisation.

“I would like to take this opportunity to pay my respects to the families of both Sian and Rebecca.

“Both families have been through the trauma of not only losing a loved one in horrific circumstances, but have had to endure several hearings, court cases and legal processes.

“I hope that all parties can now move forward.

“It would be inappropriate for me to comment any further at this stage due to any possible future appeal.”

But John Godden, Becky’s father, posted on the Justice for Becky Godden Facebook page that he felt let down by the decision.

He wrote: “They have failed & betrayed my beautiful daughter!!

“I really am at my lowest now the police are a law unto them selves!!

“I stand tall & proud in the knowledge of trying to get the truth out there!! but we have been failed by the ipcc the cps & the police right up to the corrupt british government.”

Detective was at top of profession

Steve Fulcher was a police officer at the top of his game when he was put in charge of the Sian O’Callaghan case, which began as a missing person’s case.
With a degree in criminology from the University of Cambridge, he joined Sussex Police in 1986 before moving to Wiltshire in 2003.
He has vast experience in major and serious organised crime, having held the position of Director of Intelligence and Head of Crime Investigation.
During his time in Sussex he was involved with the Sara Payne murder inquiry, and in Wiltshire, as a senior investigating officer, he has been in charge of a number of high-profile murder investigations.
A Facebook page, ‘Well done Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher’, was set up in his honour in the wake of the Sian case and more than 3,000 people have said they like it.

Interviews breached police guidelines

Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, who led the investigation into the disappearance and murder of the 22-year-old in March 2011, faced three allegations of gross misconduct over alleged breaches of force policy and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act – known as
PACE.
Last year, the Independent Police Complaints Commission found DSI Fulcher had a case to answer over breaches of PACE while interviewing Sian O’Callaghan’s killer Chris Halliwell at Barbury Castle and later in Uffington.
It was said he failed to caution the suspect when he offered to take him to Sian’s body and then to ‘another one’.
Becky Godden-Edwards’ body was found in a field in Eastleach shortly after 22-year-old Sian’s was discovered at Uffington, but a judge ruled that Swindon cab driver Halliwell’s confession was inadmissible due to breaches of the PACE code.
Halliwell, 49, of Ashbury Avenue, Nythe, was jailed for life for Sian’s murder but a second charge for Becky’s murder was withdrawn due to a lack of evidence.
The other charges related to his dealings with the media, including talking to the BBC and ITV when he was ordered not to by the force.
Yesterday brought to an end almost three years of court cases, legal action and turmoil for the families involved in the horrific case.

Comments (21)

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12:28am Fri 24 Jan 14

Robh says...

I watched Mr Goddens rant on TV and cannot believe how such a caring persons daughter disappeared for so many years without any concern but now he has so much to say.

Is it compensation he is looking for or what.
I watched Mr Goddens rant on TV and cannot believe how such a caring persons daughter disappeared for so many years without any concern but now he has so much to say. Is it compensation he is looking for or what. Robh

1:17am Fri 24 Jan 14

adsinibiza says...

As he broke the rules I guess he does have to be disciplined but we need to remember that Detective Superintendent Fulcher took a violent murderer off our streets and for that he deserves credit. I am pleased to see that he is being allowed to return to his duties keeping us safe! Best of luck for the future Steve. Chin up!
As he broke the rules I guess he does have to be disciplined but we need to remember that Detective Superintendent Fulcher took a violent murderer off our streets and for that he deserves credit. I am pleased to see that he is being allowed to return to his duties keeping us safe! Best of luck for the future Steve. Chin up! adsinibiza

7:51am Fri 24 Jan 14

Chrisg46 says...

As the mother said, he broke the law (badly), but did it for exactly the right reasons.
While having absolute sympathy for the father and understand his feeling, he should remember that if the law had not been broken, neither his daughter, nor Sian would have been found. At the time, the police were hoping Sian was still alive and that they could get to her before it was too late. At no point did they think they were looking at a serial killer.
The panel reached exactly the right decision.
As the mother said, he broke the law (badly), but did it for exactly the right reasons. While having absolute sympathy for the father and understand his feeling, he should remember that if the law had not been broken, neither his daughter, nor Sian would have been found. At the time, the police were hoping Sian was still alive and that they could get to her before it was too late. At no point did they think they were looking at a serial killer. The panel reached exactly the right decision. Chrisg46

9:22am Fri 24 Jan 14

umpcah says...

At no time did he have a self-interest only a determination to solve crimes, which he did. The police force needs a few more like him i.m.o.
At no time did he have a self-interest only a determination to solve crimes, which he did. The police force needs a few more like him i.m.o. umpcah

9:38am Fri 24 Jan 14

Davey Gravey says...

Wasn't exactly a difficult crime to solve. Cctv showed halliwells cab and he then blurted out a confession to another murder off his own back.
Even a rookie pc should have known better than to make such a massive blunder.
This case should be a lesson to all coppers to do their jobs correctly.
Wasn't exactly a difficult crime to solve. Cctv showed halliwells cab and he then blurted out a confession to another murder off his own back. Even a rookie pc should have known better than to make such a massive blunder. This case should be a lesson to all coppers to do their jobs correctly. Davey Gravey

9:44am Fri 24 Jan 14

Morsey says...

A copper using his initiative and getting a result, I would say that the protocol is wrong. The murderer is on a long sentence anyway and capital punishment does not exist.

What do the unfortunate parents actually want, this is a closure on what seemed to be an unfortunate and possibly wayward daughter and they seemed to be possibly having some guilt in the ending? Whilst having immense sympathy, it is hard to see what other outcome would have found their daughter from being 'lost'.
A copper using his initiative and getting a result, I would say that the protocol is wrong. The murderer is on a long sentence anyway and capital punishment does not exist. What do the unfortunate parents actually want, this is a closure on what seemed to be an unfortunate and possibly wayward daughter and they seemed to be possibly having some guilt in the ending? Whilst having immense sympathy, it is hard to see what other outcome would have found their daughter from being 'lost'. Morsey

10:22am Fri 24 Jan 14

g5wq says...

Steve fulcher should have been given a medal not a ticking off .

if he could manage to get a cold blooded murderer to confess without using force and also to reveal the location of his victims so easily , then i think its the silly cautioning law rule that needs changing and brought into line with a proper justice system that puts victims of crime first and not the offenders .

not so many years ago some of the above comments would have rendered you people in the stocks or on a boat away from these shores .

no one deserves to die at someone elses hands in cold blood .
Steve fulcher should have been given a medal not a ticking off . if he could manage to get a cold blooded murderer to confess without using force and also to reveal the location of his victims so easily , then i think its the silly cautioning law rule that needs changing and brought into line with a proper justice system that puts victims of crime first and not the offenders . not so many years ago some of the above comments would have rendered you people in the stocks or on a boat away from these shores . no one deserves to die at someone elses hands in cold blood . g5wq

11:34am Fri 24 Jan 14

Robh says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Wasn't exactly a difficult crime to solve. Cctv showed halliwells cab and he then blurted out a confession to another murder off his own back.
Even a rookie pc should have known better than to make such a massive blunder.
This case should be a lesson to all coppers to do their jobs correctly.
The law is an **** if it allows people to confess to crime without punishment because of protocol.
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Wasn't exactly a difficult crime to solve. Cctv showed halliwells cab and he then blurted out a confession to another murder off his own back. Even a rookie pc should have known better than to make such a massive blunder. This case should be a lesson to all coppers to do their jobs correctly.[/p][/quote]The law is an **** if it allows people to confess to crime without punishment because of protocol. Robh

1:17pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Davidsyrett says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Wasn't exactly a difficult crime to solve. Cctv showed halliwells cab and he then blurted out a confession to another murder off his own back.
Even a rookie pc should have known better than to make such a massive blunder.
This case should be a lesson to all coppers to do their jobs correctly.
As you don't obviously know the full facts I suggest you refrain from further comments.
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Wasn't exactly a difficult crime to solve. Cctv showed halliwells cab and he then blurted out a confession to another murder off his own back. Even a rookie pc should have known better than to make such a massive blunder. This case should be a lesson to all coppers to do their jobs correctly.[/p][/quote]As you don't obviously know the full facts I suggest you refrain from further comments. Davidsyrett

1:41pm Fri 24 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Wasn't exactly a difficult crime to solve. Cctv showed halliwells cab and he then blurted out a confession to another murder off his own back.
Even a rookie pc should have known better than to make such a massive blunder.
This case should be a lesson to all coppers to do their jobs correctly.
No surprise to see you on the side of the criminals.
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Wasn't exactly a difficult crime to solve. Cctv showed halliwells cab and he then blurted out a confession to another murder off his own back. Even a rookie pc should have known better than to make such a massive blunder. This case should be a lesson to all coppers to do their jobs correctly.[/p][/quote]No surprise to see you on the side of the criminals. ChannelX

2:31pm Fri 24 Jan 14

twasadawf says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Wasn't exactly a difficult crime to solve. Cctv showed halliwells cab and he then blurted out a confession to another murder off his own back.
Even a rookie pc should have known better than to make such a massive blunder.
This case should be a lesson to all coppers to do their jobs correctly.
****
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Wasn't exactly a difficult crime to solve. Cctv showed halliwells cab and he then blurted out a confession to another murder off his own back. Even a rookie pc should have known better than to make such a massive blunder. This case should be a lesson to all coppers to do their jobs correctly.[/p][/quote]**** twasadawf

2:32pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Davey Gravey says...

Davidsyrett wrote:
Davey Gravey wrote:
Wasn't exactly a difficult crime to solve. Cctv showed halliwells cab and he then blurted out a confession to another murder off his own back.
Even a rookie pc should have known better than to make such a massive blunder.
This case should be a lesson to all coppers to do their jobs correctly.
As you don't obviously know the full facts I suggest you refrain from further comments.
My comments are based on public knowledge. I can comment on what is out there.
[quote][p][bold]Davidsyrett[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Wasn't exactly a difficult crime to solve. Cctv showed halliwells cab and he then blurted out a confession to another murder off his own back. Even a rookie pc should have known better than to make such a massive blunder. This case should be a lesson to all coppers to do their jobs correctly.[/p][/quote]As you don't obviously know the full facts I suggest you refrain from further comments.[/p][/quote]My comments are based on public knowledge. I can comment on what is out there. Davey Gravey

2:48pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Davey Gravey says...

Abuse me all you like. The law is the law whether you like it or not though.
I think people on here are letting their hearts rule their heads. I feel sorry for all involved including Mr fultcher, but the facts are the facts.
Abuse me all you like. The law is the law whether you like it or not though. I think people on here are letting their hearts rule their heads. I feel sorry for all involved including Mr fultcher, but the facts are the facts. Davey Gravey

4:39pm Fri 24 Jan 14

House with no name says...

Children - Please live in the real world !
Children - Please live in the real world ! House with no name

4:36pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Cat_cat_cat says...

Det Supt Steve Fulcher has my full support and admiration.

Yes, he didn't follow proper procedures - but who can honestly say they haven't bent the rules slightly in their own jobs.

Steve Fulcher managed to get a very dangerous man off our streets before he had chance to bring harm to any other girls. Had it not been for his actions, I doubt Sian would ever had been found. Although it was a heart-breaking outcome for her loved ones, at least they were able to bury her.

The same goes for Becky. I don't see how members of her family can complain so loudly, when they did not even realise she had gone missing. If they had cared for her so much back then as they seem to do now, maybe her fate would have been different.
Det Supt Steve Fulcher has my full support and admiration. Yes, he didn't follow proper procedures - but who can honestly say they haven't bent the rules slightly in their own jobs. Steve Fulcher managed to get a very dangerous man off our streets before he had chance to bring harm to any other girls. Had it not been for his actions, I doubt Sian would ever had been found. Although it was a heart-breaking outcome for her loved ones, at least they were able to bury her. The same goes for Becky. I don't see how members of her family can complain so loudly, when they did not even realise she had gone missing. If they had cared for her so much back then as they seem to do now, maybe her fate would have been different. Cat_cat_cat

10:18am Sun 26 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Abuse me all you like. The law is the law whether you like it or not though.
I think people on here are letting their hearts rule their heads. I feel sorry for all involved including Mr fultcher, but the facts are the facts.
Said the Labour Troll.
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Abuse me all you like. The law is the law whether you like it or not though. I think people on here are letting their hearts rule their heads. I feel sorry for all involved including Mr fultcher, but the facts are the facts.[/p][/quote]Said the Labour Troll. ChannelX

10:48am Sun 26 Jan 14

Davey Gravey says...

ChannelX wrote:
Davey Gravey wrote:
Abuse me all you like. The law is the law whether you like it or not though.
I think people on here are letting their hearts rule their heads. I feel sorry for all involved including Mr fultcher, but the facts are the facts.
Said the Labour Troll.
You've quoted this post twice now. Both times come back with complete and utter lies at me.
You're the only one on here with a political agenda. Ringer - channelx - Tim newroman
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Abuse me all you like. The law is the law whether you like it or not though. I think people on here are letting their hearts rule their heads. I feel sorry for all involved including Mr fultcher, but the facts are the facts.[/p][/quote]Said the Labour Troll.[/p][/quote]You've quoted this post twice now. Both times come back with complete and utter lies at me. You're the only one on here with a political agenda. Ringer - channelx - Tim newroman Davey Gravey

11:24pm Sun 26 Jan 14

Phantom Poster says...

ChannelX wrote:
Davey Gravey wrote:
Abuse me all you like. The law is the law whether you like it or not though.
I think people on here are letting their hearts rule their heads. I feel sorry for all involved including Mr fultcher, but the facts are the facts.
Said the Labour Troll.
I disagree with "Davey Gravey" most of the time, but your personal antipathy towards him here is just childish and pathetic - as are you.
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Abuse me all you like. The law is the law whether you like it or not though. I think people on here are letting their hearts rule their heads. I feel sorry for all involved including Mr fultcher, but the facts are the facts.[/p][/quote]Said the Labour Troll.[/p][/quote]I disagree with "Davey Gravey" most of the time, but your personal antipathy towards him here is just childish and pathetic - as are you. Phantom Poster

8:41am Mon 27 Jan 14

RichardR1 says...

As a parent and grandparent I personally could care less what rules were broken if one of mine was missing. He breached PACE big deal Halliwell was guilty of both murders, it's the Judge who should hang his head in shame coming to such a awful decision. Common sense showed clearly Halliwell's guilt, how could he have known where Becky's body was unless he was party to her death.
As a parent and grandparent I personally could care less what rules were broken if one of mine was missing. He breached PACE big deal Halliwell was guilty of both murders, it's the Judge who should hang his head in shame coming to such a awful decision. Common sense showed clearly Halliwell's guilt, how could he have known where Becky's body was unless he was party to her death. RichardR1

9:41am Mon 27 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

Phantom Poster wrote:
ChannelX wrote:
Davey Gravey wrote:
Abuse me all you like. The law is the law whether you like it or not though.
I think people on here are letting their hearts rule their heads. I feel sorry for all involved including Mr fultcher, but the facts are the facts.
Said the Labour Troll.
I disagree with "Davey Gravey" most of the time, but your personal antipathy towards him here is just childish and pathetic - as are you.
That wasn't in the least bit predictable.

As for 'personal antipathy towards' others... do you have a mirror to hand?
[quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Abuse me all you like. The law is the law whether you like it or not though. I think people on here are letting their hearts rule their heads. I feel sorry for all involved including Mr fultcher, but the facts are the facts.[/p][/quote]Said the Labour Troll.[/p][/quote]I disagree with "Davey Gravey" most of the time, but your personal antipathy towards him here is just childish and pathetic - as are you.[/p][/quote]That wasn't in the least bit predictable. As for 'personal antipathy towards' others... do you have a mirror to hand? ChannelX

9:45am Mon 27 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

Chrisg46 wrote:
As the mother said, he broke the law (badly), but did it for exactly the right reasons.
While having absolute sympathy for the father and understand his feeling, he should remember that if the law had not been broken, neither his daughter, nor Sian would have been found. At the time, the police were hoping Sian was still alive and that they could get to her before it was too late. At no point did they think they were looking at a serial killer.
The panel reached exactly the right decision.
He didn't break the law, he simply operated outside of protocols that have been put in place to protect criminals.
[quote][p][bold]Chrisg46[/bold] wrote: As the mother said, he broke the law (badly), but did it for exactly the right reasons. While having absolute sympathy for the father and understand his feeling, he should remember that if the law had not been broken, neither his daughter, nor Sian would have been found. At the time, the police were hoping Sian was still alive and that they could get to her before it was too late. At no point did they think they were looking at a serial killer. The panel reached exactly the right decision.[/p][/quote]He didn't break the law, he simply operated outside of protocols that have been put in place to protect criminals. ChannelX

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